You have decided to sell your home and want to place it for sale by owner so you can save thousands of dollars in commission that you would have to pay a real estate agent to sell your home. It sounds easy enough. What will you have to do to sell your home? Stick a sign in the yard, take some pictures with your phone and maybe post your home on a website, then wait for the buyers to call. While it may happen quickly, locating the buyer is just the start. What else will you need to take care of before you get your home sold?
The first step in preparing your home to sell is to get the home ready for people to look at it. How do you do this and what should you do? Is your home show ready right now or do you need to take some steps to make it ready? If it needs some work, do you know what you need to do and how you should do it and what contractors might be able to help you prepare your home for the market? Showing your home to a potential buyer is a like a first date. As the seller, you definitely want a second date but without taking the right steps when preparing for your first date, you may never get a second chance.
Have you decided what price you plan to list your home at? What did you base the price on? How long do you plan to give your home to sell at the price you list it at before you reduce the price? Will the list price cover what you owe on the home? How much are you willing to negotiate the price on your home? Prices should be based on recent comparable sales. Have you pulled those to determine the list price or used a different approach? If the buyer of your home is getting a mortgage, the home will need to be appraised. Will the home appraise at or above the list price?
Now that your home is ready for the market, you need to begin the marketing of your property. Agents have a very specific list of marketing tasks to complete when they list your home. Do you have a plan to sell your home? Did you take pictures with your phone or hire a professional? Will you create a virtual tour? What about using a drone to take aerial photos? What websites provide the best exposure to homes? Which websites will allow you to place your home on it yourself? Marketing your home goes well beyond a sign in the yard and listing on Craigslist. The more exposure your home receives, the more likely you are to sell your home quickly and for the right price. Will the reach you get from your marketing equal what an agent can provide?
When buyers come to look, they likely won’t enjoy you sticking with them while they look at your home. Are you comfortable with people you don’t know walking through your home? Have you accurately prepared a real estate disclosure to provide to interested parties? Even though you are not a real estate agent, you are still obligated to disclose material facts about your home. Have you done this accurately without putting yourself at risk?
Speaking of the disclosure, what other paperwork will you need to complete? If you are fortunate enough to attract a buyer, negotiate with them and agree to terms, what do you do next? Are you comfortable preparing an offer to purchase and other forms that are needed? Do you know how to evaluate the buyer’s loan information for any red flags that may prevent or delay closing? When inspections are completed, what do you do now? Are there things you are obligated to repair? Should you repair nothing? What if they buyer says they won’t buy the house without repairs? If you agree to some repairs, who should you call to make them? What if your regular repair person can’t make the repairs in the time frame you need them to? Will you know how to schedule closing and provide all necessary information to the closer? Who schedules the appraisal? What if the house appraises for less than the purchase price? Will the questions ever end? All of these questions (and many more) are things that a real estate agent handles regularly and that you will have to handle in their place if you don’t have an agent representing you.
Are you prepared to handle all of the things mentioned above plus any unexpected hurdles to get your home sold? Homes sold for sale by owner receive less exposure causing them to sit on the market longer and sell for lower prices. Selling your home with an agent will drastically increase its exposure bringing you a higher sales price leaving you enough money to cover the commission and still keep more money in your pocket. It will also mean someone else is responsible for taking care of all of the details that go along with selling your home.
The Janis Penick Team
RE/MAX Bastrop Area
Serving Bastrop, Cedar Creek and Smithville
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